Blogger Recognition Award

Stevie Turner has been given the Blogger Recognition Award which is lovely to receive especially at this time of year… Stevie in turn has nominated quite a few people you will recognise.. including me.. so very honoured.. thanks Stevie and congratulations.

Stevie Turner

Thanks to Suzan Khoja at Magical Booklush for nominating me for the Blogger Recognition Award Ceremony:


1. Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

2. Write a post to show your award.

3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.

4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.

5. Select up to fifteen bloggers you want to give this award to.

6. Comment (or pingback) on each blog to let them know that you’ve nominated them and provide a link to the post you’ve created.

How My Blog Started:

I started this blog back in 2013 when I began writing novels.  I find that blogging is one of the best ways to showcase my work and my writing style.  I have also found many new friends in cyber world who are also writers. They offer support, many volunteer to be…

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Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Friday December 13th 2019 – #Q&A D.G. Kaye with Lisa Thomson, #JackSparrow #Cookies Dolly Aizenman, #Redwine Christy Birmingham

Always an interesting place to visit and meet other authors… D.G Kaye (Debby Gies) place for a Q& A and today it is author and divorce expert Lisa Thomson.

D.G, Kaye Book Promotions

Q and A with D.G. Kaye Featuring Author Lisa Thomson – The Wine Diaries

Welcome to Q and A with D.G. Kaye interview series. Today I’m happy to introduce here, friend and fellow Canadian author, Lisa Thomson. Lisa is mostly a nonfiction writer who shares lots of herself and her anecdotes and empowering advice for women going through divorce. But her teachings, in conversational writing, invite anyone to read her wisdoms as she has lots of life experience to offer. And her teachings can easily be applied to any kind of loss in life. Let’s get on with the show!

Lisa Thomson

Head over to read the interview and find out more about Lisa, her blog and her books: D.G. Kaye Q & A with Lisa Thomson

D. G. Kaye – Buy: Amazon US Blog: D.G. Writes Goodreads: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads

Catch up with Debby’s Travel Column here every month: The Travel Column with D.G. Kaye

Now if you are heading out over the holidays and are likely traveling in bad weather, including snow storms, it is important to take emergency rations with you. Dolly Aizenman has just the perfect food to go for you… Steel Cut Oat cookies enhanced by a goodly measure of chocolate chips.

But before you get to the recipe.. find out more behind the legend that is Captain Jack Sparrow.. did he really exist?  What is the real story?

The Infamous Pirate Queen and the Traveling Rations

Was there a pirate ship called The Black Pearl that roamed the Caribbean? And was there a flamboyant, dashing Jack Sparrow who captained it? No and no!

The main lie, of course, is that Jack Sparrow never existed, and the real pirate, on whom Johnny Depp’s character (largely composite) is loosely based, was oh! so far from the fierce fighter of the Disney extravaganza! Captain John Rackham, AKA Calico Jack, has never achieved the legendary wealth and glamour of numerous victories at sea attributed to infamous pirates. His peculiar fame lies in the bosom of his wife, Anne Bonny, and her best friend Mary Read, both the combatant stars of Calico Jack’s crew. There is no one better to tell you this story than a brilliant Scottish Celtic singer and songwriter Karliene:

Head over an enjoy a snippet from one of the Pirates of the Caribbean and a lovely song from Karliene…plus grab that recipe for Steel Cut Oat Cookies and choc chips to go: The Infamous Pirate Queen and the Traveling rations with Dolly Aizenman

Dolly’s book Kool Kosher Kitchen is available: Amazon

I have no doubt that although I don’t drink that much these days, I will be drinking the odd glass of red wine over the holidays. I prefer to white, unless it is a dry sparkling wine, and I don’t feel so hungover the next morning if I have a couple of glasses with a meal, particularly one which might be slightly on the fatty side.. Here is a post from Christy Birmingham on When Women Inspire on 7 key benefits for women from drinking red wine.

Red Wine Benefits for Women

If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, does a glass of red wine do the same? If you read Mayo Clinic’s assertion that consuming red wine in moderation can be good for the heart, then the answer is yes! Let’s explore health-related red wine benefits for women here.
A few facts about red wine

Made by fermenting dark grapes, red wine comes in several varieties, depending upon the age, type of grapes used, and other factors. Interestingly, ancient Egyptions turned red wine into medicine, roughly 5,000 years ago, to help with several different conditions, ranging from stomach aches to herpes.

Since that time, the health benefits of red wine have been favorably linked with cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, metabolism, and more. A small amount of good-quality red vino has numerous beauty benefits to the skin and hair, as per the details below.

Find out what the Top red wine benefits for women are: When Women Inspire – Top benefits of red wine for women

About When Women Inspire

Are you looking for inspiration? Hope? Do you want to learn about how women are changing the world every single day? Then you’ve come to the right place.

When Women Inspire is dedicated to showcasing the efforts of women around the world to change the world in positive ways. These are women making social, economic, literary, political or educational waves – in a great way.

Christy Birmingham is also available as a freelance writer and is a published poet – to find out more visit: About When Women Inspire

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope that you will head over to read these posts in full.. thanks Sally.


Smorgasbord Health Column – Christmas Kissing Kith and Kin… Keep Peppermint to hand

It is the season for Christmas parties and family gatherings and at this time of year there is the additional pleasure of getting kissed under the mistletoe – of course it all depends on who is doing the kissing, but having fresh breath before embarking on this lovely activity is essential.  And also having something to ward of the unwanted attentions of any germs that might be lurking in the vicinity!  We will also be eating richer food than normal and that can cause digestive upsets and is one of the reasons we become so prone to infections during the holiday season.

You may have noticed that almost all non-prescription preparations that claim to help indigestion are mint flavoured. And this is not just because mint has a nice taste. Mint is one of the oldest known treatments for indigestion and its inclusion in medicines is due to the plant’s ability to settle the stomach. However, do be aware that there are other components in these over the counter products and overuse can undermine your own ability to maintain an acid and alkaline balance in the body. Using a natural digestive aid over a period of time should stimulate your own system to do its job efficiently rather than rely increasingly on synthetic assistance. Do remember that if you are on prescribed medication that you should not stop taking without the knowledge of your doctor.

Originally native to the Mediterranean region, peppermint, which is a cross between water mint and spearmint, is one of the oldest cultivated herbs and was used for culinary as well as healing purposes by the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. It would seem that poor eating habits have been a problem throughout all of human history!

The ancient Romans carried it with them wherever they colonized; (presumably the relief it offered was much needed at the end of an orgy!) To this day, the Arabs brew it into tea and chop it into salads, the Asian Indians include it in chutney recipes, the British make its juice into jellies to be served with heavy meat dishes, and the Germans, concoct it into schnapps as an after-dinner drink. In all these cases, the motive for including mint in the diet is to improve digestion and avoid indigestion.

Nutrients in Peppermint tea

As with any dark green leafy plant the peppermint offers a wide range of nutrients that make it an excellent food source. Vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, Vitamin B2, Vitamin C, manganese, folate, iron, magnesium and calcium. Unfortunately you do not normally consume a sufficient quantity to be able to classify this as a superfood, but if you add the nutrients in the leaves to an already balanced diet it will certainly add to the pot of essential and varied nutrients you need each day.

Peppermint improves digestion in general but is great for stomach and colon cramps as the menthol in the herb has a muscle relaxing action and IBS sufferers often find it reduces symptoms. A cup of peppermint tea after a meal is much better for your digestion than a cup of coffee.

The oil mixed with a lotion or light skin oil, rubbed on the forehead can relieve headaches and is cooling when massaged into sore muscles.

As a forerunner of our modern gum, the leaves were chewed to prevent bad breath which was essential before toothpaste and flossing. Even 100 years ago dental hygiene was not common practice for nearly everyone…Does not bear thinking about as we come into the mistletoe season…..

Peppermint oil usually comes in small capsules or in a liquid tincture. The tea also comes with some variations, one of my favourites being Green Tea and Peppermint.

Other health benefits

Animal studies have indicated that the oil produced from the leaves could provide protection from cancer and also inhibit the growth of certain tumours in the breasts, pancreas and liver.

Peppermint oil is highly antibacterial and it also inhibits the growth of other potentially dangerous bacteria such as H.Pylori (Helicobacter pylori), the bacteria that causes peptic ulcers; Salmonella, E.Coli 0157:H7 and MRSA.

If you have a cold or flu there is nothing better than a little peppermint oil sprinkled on a tissue, or rubbed on your chest, to help you breathe better.

For asthmatics the rosmarinic acid in the oil acts as an anti-inflammatory and also encourages cells to produce substances called prostacyclins, which keep the airways open.

Apart from its medicinal uses and nutritional properties, mint is wonderful with lamb. Make a home-made sauce or jelly and enjoy two or three times a week along with a cup of peppermint tea after your dinner.

I use diluted peppermint oil to soak my toothbrush in – will put a tiny drop on the toothbrush to clean my teeth and I also use in the kitchen and add a drop to my normal strength peppermint tea once a day.

A definite all year round herb to use but at this time of year one to keep close to hand.

Have fun under the mistletoe……

For all other posts in the Health Column please check out this directory:

©Sally Cronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2019

A little bit about me nutritionally.

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty years experience working with clients in Ireland and the UK as well as being a health consultant on radio in Spain. Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 20 years ago, based on my own weight loss of 154lbs. My first clinic was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Since then I have written a men’s health manual, and anti-aging programme, articles for magazines and posts here on Smorgasbord.

If you would like to browse by health books and fiction you can find them here:

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope that you have found the post informative…If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord at Christmas – Festive Short Stories – Xmas Eve by Janet Gogerty.

Stories have always played a part in Christmas celebrations and over the next few weeks I would like to share your festive tales… and you can find details of how to participate at the end of the post.

Xmas Eve by Janet Gogerty

Linda hated Christmas, or rather the long run up to Christmas. It was busier but easier when the children were still at school; they knew exactly who would be there for Christmas every year; four children and four elderly relatives. Now, since the children were grown up and the elderly relatives no longer around, each year was different.

But this year would be the first Christmas she and Roger had spent by themselves. He was looking forward to spending Christmas Day and Boxing Day alone, relaxing; Linda was not. With the prospect of such a quiet Christmas there did not seem to be anything to get ready for, so she didn’t.

It was quite liberating, others talked of vast amounts spent, huge crowds fought through and piles of presents waiting to be wrapped. It only took Linda one afternoon to buy the requested gift vouchers and post them off. On the food front Christmas Eve would be no different from her Saturday morning shop at the local butchers and greengrocers.

But the day before Christmas Eve things started to unravel. She checked her e-mails in the morning and there was a long one from Sarah.

….remember the English guy I met at the backpackers’ hostel? (no she didn’t) Well, we’re an item now! Unfortunately, his visa has nearly run out so we are trying to get a flight home together…

In the afternoon John rang, he thought they might be lonely and had swapped shifts; he was getting a lift home on Christmas Eve.

In the evening Kate called; Gavin’s parents had found a last minute booking on the internet and were off to spend Christmas in the sun; she and Gavin should be down by tomorrow evening, picking up Paul on the way. Hadn’t Paul told them he’d broken up with his girlfriend on Tuesday?

Linda looked around the house; apart from the cards, there was no evidence of the festive season. Roger was completely calm, though disappointed he wouldn’t be having his quiet Christmas; he was already working out when they would go again.

‘They can take us as they find us, they know we weren’t expecting them.’

He reluctantly went up in the loft to bring down the decorations and lights, but Linda’s joy at having a proper Christmas was tempered by her panic at how much there was to get ready. She thought of the small joint of pork on order at the butchers and the miniature pudding in the cupboard.

‘No problem,’ reassured Roger ‘we’re finishing early tomorrow hopefully, in the morning you just have to make up the beds and make a shopping list; we’ll go and do a big shop when I get back.’

It took Linda a long time to get to sleep that night; when would Sarah arrive, what was the new guy like, would the weather be okay for Kate and Gavin’s trip down or would they be involved in a massive pile up on the Motorway, why hadn’t Paul told them of the break up?
The next morning Roger decided to take the bus to work as parking would be horrendous, but assured Linda he would be home by two o’clock. She rushed around with piles of bedding and towels, tidying, dusting, vacuuming; she was enjoying herself, but at one forty five the phone rang. It was Roger.

‘Sorry darling, I’m going to be late, all hell’s broken lose here, I could be very late, lucky I left the car at home, you go ahead and do the shopping without me.’

Terror gripped Linda, surely he wasn’t expecting her to drive to the shops?

‘But Roger I…’

‘Sorry dear, got to go, see you tonight.’

She looked out of the front window at the shiny red car leering smugly at her. Officially Linda drove; she had a licence gained at the second attempt, a spotless licence with no points. When was the last time she had actually driven? She had certainly never driven the new red monster Roger had bought when their other car packed up. Take it out during the day when it’s quiet, it’s lovely to drive he had said. How Linda envied those people who proudly stated I never learnt to drive or who remarked I don’t drive as if it was an incurable medical condition. Had she ever enjoyed driving? She couldn’t remember; parking, turning right, roundabouts had always presented problems. With the first baby she had ventured out with him safely strapped in the back seat, but he had started crying and she could not concentrate.

She realised she much preferred the healthy option of pushing the Silvercross pram; you could get loads of shopping in the tray underneath. They had never been able to afford two cars, so much of the time the car was not available for her to use. Roger enjoyed driving, on outings and holidays he naturally slipped into the driver’s seat.

As the children got older and had to be taken to things it was difficult to avoid; but they soon realised it was embarrassing being out with their mother. People would be tooting as she held everybody up, trying to get in or out of the multi storey car park or they would have to walk miles to avoid awkward parking places.

When they all learnt to drive confidently they gave her lifts; otherwise she was happy walking, cycling, going on the bus or accepting lifts Roger’s got the car, such a nuisance!

Now there was no getting out of it. She could never bring all that food home on her bike.

Where had Roger put the car keys? Linda hunted all around the house then found them in the pocket of his spare coat. She knew you pressed the button to unlock the car; that was all she knew. Opening the front door she looked round to make sure nobody was watching, slipped into the car, then slipped out again to open the gates. The road was busy and the driveway sloped down steeply, another reason she was loath to use the car. Linda turned the key and the engine started, but her mind went blank till she remembered it was automatic and managed to get it into reverse. For the next ten minutes she blocked the pavement as she waited for a gap in the traffic.

When she finally lifted her foot off the brake pedal she rolled straight back into the opposite kerb. Somehow she got into forward gear and set off to the sound of angry beeping from the car she had just missed. She perched on the edge of the seat; it was set well back for Roger’s long legs.

Linda had forgotten the new roundabout and stopped to work out which exit she wanted, an impatient horn tooted behind her and she set off in panic, missing her exit and going round again. As she drove up the new dual carriageway she dared to feel a little confident. The brilliant lights of the supermarket loomed ahead, she was going to make it. But where was the entrance? Not over the footbridge or through the cycle underpass; all she could see were hedges and fences. After circumnavigating the whole superstore complex she hit upon a solution and followed the huge supermarket lorry.

Linda was pleased with herself as she drew into a nice quiet car park and found a large bay. She locked the car but as she walked away a loud rough voice yelled out and she realised he was addressing her.

‘Hey you stupid…’

Linda could hardly believe the words she was hearing. She turned to face a scowling driver climbing down the four steps from his cab.

‘Do you want me to crush your… red toy car, move it now.’

As she shakily got back into the car she stalled twice and finally backed out, cheered on by sneering trolley boys. The main car park was busy, yellow jacketed figures directed drivers into impossibly small spaces; she squeezed in, clipping the wing mirror of the next car. The only way to get out of this terrible place would be to shop slowly and leave after everyone else had gone.

Shopping slowly proved easy as it was so crowded; her trembling hands pushed the wonky trolley, the only one left. Little children cried, school children skidded down the aisles and arguing couples blocked the junctions. She was tempted to abandon the trolley, the shopping, the car and just walk home. When everyone turned up at the house she would announce that Christmas had been cancelled. This get out plan comforted her a great deal, gave her the confidence to try just one more aisle, then another; gradually the trolley filled up and it seemed a shame to abandon it. The long queue at the checkout reassured her; the car park should be empty by the time she got out and in the dark nobody would see her.

At last she was outside, but could not remember where she was parked. In the dark the red car was not so bright and shiny.

A security man came over ‘Can I be of assistance Madam?’

‘Well you won’t believe this, but I can’t remember where I put my car.’

‘I certainly would, it happens all the time,’ he replied kindly ‘now what is the registration number and make of the car?’

All hope disappeared; she couldn’t remember the number and didn’t know the make. Her brain had switched off when Roger had talked interminably about what car to get; all she had been interested in was how much it was going to cost.

‘Red you say Madam, how about that one over there?’

He gallantly steered the uncooperative trolley over to the car and she hoped he would not witness her attempts to drive off. Luckily his radio buzzed into life. She struggled to get all the shopping in the boot and wondered if the car would get back up the driveway, weighed down so. The cars either side had gone and she followed other vehicles to the exit.

Linda recognised the nice quiet little road at the exit, she cycled on it to avoid the main road; the circuitous route through the residential area would be safer. She noticed the dashboard for the first time, or more specifically the petrol gauge, it was nearly on empty. Had Roger mentioned filling the tank up? Yes. Would she pass a petrol station? Would she know how to use the petrol pump? No. There was only one thing to do; get home as quickly as possible before the petrol ran out. When she heard the police siren she pulled over carefully to let it pass and was surprised to see the police car stop in front of her.

‘Did you know this is a twenty mile an hour area Madam?’

As she looked into the face of the law in the light of the street lamp a wonderful thought occurred to her; if she got lots of points on her licence maybe they would take it away.

When she arrived home a car was blocking the driveway, but she didn’t care if she left the red monster on the main road. In the light of the street lamp she saw the boot of the strange car was open and beneath it Gavin, Kate and Paul were hauling out huge bags of shopping.

‘Hi Mum, we knew you wouldn’t have much in, so we did a big shop on the way.’

©Janet Gogerty 2019

About Janet Gogerty

I have been writing frantically for 12 years and still enjoy being part of two writing groups. I am inspired by anything and everything and enjoy writing about ordinary people; but usually they find themselves experiencing strange events!

When I was encouraged to tackle a novel my daughter suggested I use my short story ‘Brief Encounters of the Third Kind’ as she wanted to know what happened to Emma, whose fate had been left in the air at the end of the story. The novel became a trilogy, Three Ages of Man and finally Lives of Anna Alsop, published in March 2015.

Quarter Acre Block was inspired by my family’s emmigration to Australia.

My new novel is called At The Seaside Nobody Hears You Scream. When Toby Channing’s girlfriend disappeared without trace he was the last person to see her…

I enjoy writing fiction of any length and have had many short stories published online.

This month saw the release of Janet’s latest book, a thriller – At The Seaside Nobody Hears You Scream.

About the book

In the summer of 2013 Annette Bethany Brown went missing without trace. Her boyfriend Toby Channing was the last person to see her, the only person who knew where she had spent the previous days.

In February 2014 Tobias Elliot Channing, private investigator, was still roaming the country, a camper van detective specialising in missing persons; hoping to discover why so many people go missing. He was visiting every place that had a connection with Anna, there were still no clues to her disappearance.

Head over to buy the book: Amazon UK

And: Amazon US

A selection of other books by Janet Gogerty

A review for Quarter Acre Block

Anita Dawes 5.0 out of 5 stars History remembered and relived…

I can remember the winter of 1962-63, also known as the Big Freeze. It was one of the coldest winters on record for the UK. The temperature plummeted and lakes and rivers froze. The sea actually froze in a few places, something I never expected to see!
Blizzards and the freezing cold probably had most of us dreaming of living somewhere warmer. I know my mother did.

She had heard about this new scheme where you could travel to Australia to start a new life and all for £10. That must have appealed to many people after suffering through that particular winter. I was only a child then, and don’t remember why we didn’t go, so when I saw this book all about a family who did go, I had to read it.

I followed this family as they made plans, packed up their belongings and travelled all that way. I discovered what it was like to find yourself in such a vastly different environment to the UK, and found it all fascinating.
The early arrivals were given a quarter Acre block of land to live on, which is a substantial amount of space, practically unheard of in the UK unless you had pots of money.

I learned what their new life was like through the eyes of the youngest daughter. She described an enjoyable journey as they slowly came to terms with their new life.

This was a light-hearted and fascinating read about something that almost happened to me. I often wonder what my own life would have been like if my mother had managed to swing it...

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK

And on: Amazon US

Read more reviews and follow Janet on: Goodreads

Connect to Janet


Thank you for dropping in today and I know that Janet would love to receive your comments.. thanks Sally.

The only holiday catalog you’ll ever need. PLUS: the WINNER! #humor #Christmas

A wonderfully entertaining Christmas Gift Catalogue from Barb Taub with something for everyone (hilarious) and also the announcement of the winner of a copy of Ani’s (Sue Vincent) book Doggerel for the lovely Jennie Fitzkee.. Head over and enjoy.. thanks Barb.. great start to the day.

Barb Taub

My dog Peri wants to announce the winner of her friend Ani’s book! Check the bottom of this post to see if it’s you. [Note from Barb–this blog post was a holiday column from back in the day that was going to be a ThrowbackThursday only I just noticed that it’s actually Friday. This happens with disturbing regularity around here, now that I’ve retired and all my days are Saturdays.]

The codfish lays ten thousand eggs. 
The homely hen lays one.
The codfish never cackles
To tell you what she’s done.
And so we scorn the codfish, while the humble hen we prize,
Which only goes to show you, that it pays to advertise. —Anonymous

I’ve been studying the great humorists of our times—Tina Fey, Dave Barry, The Republican Party, Big Bird—and asking myself, “What do they have that I don’t?”

“Other than millions of fans, agents, tons of money…

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Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair #EpicFantasy Deborah Jay, #Memoir Abbie Taylor Johnson, #HistoricalAdventure Andrew Joyce, #Thriller Daniel Kemp

Welcome to this year’s Christmas book fair where I will be sharing the books of all the authors on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore with their most recent review in the last six months. I will be selecting authors at random so that there is something for everyone in the post.

If you enjoy epic fantasy novels then The Prince’s Man which is Book One in The Five Kingdoms Series by Deborah Jay is one you will enjoy.

About The Prince’s Man

Think ‘James Bond meets Lord of the Rings’

Rustam Chalice, dance tutor, gigolo and spy, loves his life just the way it is. So when the kingdom he serves is threatened from within, he leaps into action. Only trouble is, the spy master, Prince Hal, teams him up with an untouchable aristocratic assassin who despises him.

And to make matters worse, she’s the most beautiful woman in the Five Kingdoms.

Plunged into a desperate journey over the mountains, the mismatched pair struggle to survive deadly wildlife, the machinations of a spiteful god – and each other.

They must also keep alive a sickly elf they need as a political pawn. But when the elf reveals that Rustam has magic of his own, he is forced to question his identity, his sanity and worst, his loyalty to his prince.

For in Tyr-en, all magic users are put to death.

Award winning novel, THE PRINCE’S MAN is a sweeping tale of spies and deadly politics, inter-species mistrust and magic phobia, with an underlying thread of romance.

A recent review for The Prince’s Man

D. W. Peach 5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully written September 24, 2019

I thoroughly enjoyed this entertaining and skillfully-written fantasy novel. I was particularly taken with the tight narrative, not a wasted scene or conversation, every word counting as the story unfolded. This contributed to a quick pace and complimented the well-considered plot that comes together with a satisfying ending. Though the first in a series, The Prince’s Man can also be read as a stand-alone.

All that good stuff, and then there’s more… the characters are fabulous, deeply flawed and sympathetic at the same time. The relationship between Rustam and Risada takes center stage. There are hints of a romantic attraction but the reader is saved from moon eyes and heaving chests by a very real tension based on past experiences, current loyalties, and objectives. Despite being allies, there’s a lot of loathing going on here. I love that.

Elves, trolls, and were-cats throw the story into the classic fantasy genre and are integral to the plot and underlying theme of the book. The political machinations are realistic enough to be recognizable today. Prejudices, bigotry, genocide, and beliefs in cultural superiority are alive and well in her world-building. The characters are forced to revisit their worldviews, but just like in real life, they will only open their eyes so wide. And Jay doesn’t hold back on the brutality.

I’m looking forward to reading the next in the series and seeing what happens to the two main characters as well as a host of others who intrigued me no end. Recommended for anyone who loves a good fantasy.

A selection of other books by Deborah Jay

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And Amazon UK: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Deborah on : Goodreads

Connect with Deborah via her website: Deborah Jay

The next book is a memoir by Abbie Johnson Taylor, the story of meeting, falling in love and marrying her ideal partner, who sadly became very ill soon after.

About the book

In September of 2005, Abbie Johnson married Bill Taylor. She was in her mid−forties, and he was nineteen years older. Three months later, Bill suffered the first of two strokes that paralyzed his left side and confined him to a wheelchair. Abbie Johnson Taylor, once a registered music therapist, uses prose and poetry to tell the story of how she met and married her husband, then cared for him for six years despite her visual impairment. At first, there was a glimmer of hope that Bill would walk again, but when therapists gave up on him seven months after his second stroke, Taylor resigned herself to being a permanent family caregiver.

She discusses learning to dress him and transfer him from one place to another, sitting up with him at night when he couldn’t urinate or move his bowels, and dealing with doctors and bureaucrats to obtain necessary equipment and services. There were happy times, like when she played the piano or guitar and sang his favorite songs, or when they went out to eat or to a concert. She also explains how she purchased a wheelchair accessible van and found people to drive it, so they wouldn’t always depend on the local paratransit service’s limited hours. In the end, she describes the painful decision she and Bill made to move him to a nursing home when he became too weak for her to care for him in September of 2012. He seemed to give up on life and passed away a month later.

Abbie Johnson Taylor lives in Sheridan, Wyoming and is the author of three previously published books.

One of the recent reviews for My Ideal Partner

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Accolades are due Ms. Johnson Taylor. I must say that it is not just for caregivers, it is a love story, a story of inspiration and determination, and a story that will make you want to read more books by this author. I, personally, am glad that Abbie does not hold anything back.

Other books by Abbie Taylor

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

Read the reviews and follow Abbie on: Goodreads

Connect to Abbie: Abbie’s Corner WordPress

The next author is on my ‘favourite reads’ list and I can recommend any of his books as gifts this Christmas… and that would be Andrew Joyce with a recent review for Mahoney his latest release.

About Mahoney

In this compelling, richly researched novel, author Andrew Joyce tells a story of determination and grit as the Mahoney clan fights to gain a foothold in America. From the first page to the last, fans of Edward Rutherford and W. Michael Gear will enjoy this riveting, historically accurate tale of adventure, endurance, and hope.

In the second year of An Gorta Mhór—the Great Famine—nineteen-year-old Devin Mahoney lies on the dirt floor of his small, dark cabin. He has not eaten in five days. His only hope of survival is to get to America, the land of milk and honey. After surviving disease and storms at sea that decimate crew and passengers alike, Devin’s ship limps into New York Harbor three days before Christmas, 1849. Thus starts an epic journey that will take him and his descendants through one hundred and fourteen years of American history, including the Civil War, the Wild West, and the Great Depression.

One of the recent reviews for Mahoney

Jjspina 5.0 out of 5 starsA Memorable Historical Novel that Will Become A Classic One Day! November 27, 2019

An historical novel with epic proportions that chronicles the lives of three generations of Mahoneys. Part 1 begins with Devin Mahoney and his struggles to survive living in Ireland during a famine and how he travels from his homeland to America to begin a new life of prosperity in the Land of Milk and Honey. The author delves into the historical background of the time and how the Irish had to deal with bias and bigotry when they arrived in their new home.

Part 2 takes the reader through the colorful life of Dillon Mahoney as he travels across the West and has encounters with outlaws, an Indian and nearly loses his life. Being a man of courage and convictions he strives to do all he can to correct what he feels need to be corrected by stopping the outlaws from doing any more harm to others.

Part 3 comes full circle with the next generation of Mahoneys, David. He is a troubled soul and spoiled by his father who wanted to give him all he could to make the way easier for him. David must find his way on his own.

This story touched my soul and made me think of my grandparents who came to this country and struggled to make their way by working hard and sacrificing for their children. An unforgettable novel that is a must read. Even my husband who doesn’t talk about many books has not stopped talking about this one. He has even told his friends about it. They are now reading it too.

I have read a few other books by this talented author and enjoyed them all but this book, in my opinion, is his best to date. It’s a memorable historical novel that will stay with me for a long time. I wouldn’t be surprised if this becomes a classic and one day we see it up on the big screen. Kudos to Andrew Joyce for creating such a wonderful story.

Also by Andrew Joyce

Read the reviews and buy all the books: Amazon US

And : Amazon UK

Find more reviews and follow Andrew on : Goodreads

Connect to Andrew via his blog: Andrew Joyce on WordPress

The next author with books for those of us who enjoy spy novels and thrillers is  Daniel Kemp and the featured book is What Happened in Vienna Jack?

About the book

A robbery in London. The murder of a priest at the end of World War Two. A genocide in Namibia. The discovery of the remains of Hitler’s secretary.

Something connects all this. Former British spy Jack Price knows the answer, and he’s willing to die to keep the secret. The problem? He’s not the only one who knows.

It’s the lies that are not heard, but kept as secrets, that own us all. Deep in the world of espionage and deception, how far is Jack willing to go to fulfill his mission?

One of the recent reviews for the book

If you like the novels of Graham Greene and Len Deighton, then I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy this very engrossing read, by Daniel Kemp. Set in the 1970s, this thriller is very atmospheric of the times and I really enjoyed the plot (no spoilers here folks) which involved historic secrets the establishment didn’t want revealed.

Mr Kemp has obviously studied the period and also the events leading up to the Second World War extensively and upon finishing the novel, I had to wonder whether the events he portrays, could in fact have happened.

I will certainly be reading more of Mr Kemp’s novels.

Also by Daniel Kemp

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK

And : Amazon US

Read more reviews and follow Daniel on : Goodreads

Connect to Daniel via his website: Author Danny Kemp

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope that you will be leaving with some books under your arm.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Thursday December 12th 2019 – #Storycontest Stevie Turner, #FlashFiction Charli Mills Carrot Ranch, #Bookreview Angie Quantrell.

If you are feeling creative and would like to express this in a Christmas short story or poem then here is the link to a post by Stevie Turner.  I have also included the first verse of her own poem to get you in the mood…

Share Your Christmas Short Story (or Poem) at Stevie Turner’s blog

Yes it’s that time again! Have you written a short story (2000 words or less please) or a poem with a Christmas theme? If you have and would like to take part in the contest, publish the story on your blog and then add a link to it here in the comments. On Christmas Eve I’ll pick my favourite one to share on my website and other social media. The winner will also be able to feature this laurel on their blog:

Christmas story laurel.png

I thought I’d add my poem to get you all in the Christmas mood:

Nellie Answers Back

‘Twas Christmas Day in the workhouse
The snow was falling fast.
Nellie scrubbed two hundred shirts
And wished the day would pass.

Copyright 2019 by Stevie Turner

To read the rest of Stevie’s poem and to find out more about the contest…head ye over to yonder blog you only have a couple of weeks to get your entry in: Christmas short story or poem contest at Stevie Turner

Stevie Turner buy the books: Amazon US Stevie Turner on: Goodreads – blog: Stevie Turner on WordPress

Please visit Amazon or Stevie’s website to view all her books.

Thursday is recap day for the flash fiction submitted to the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills – Here is a short snippet sharing just some of the fantastic stories in this week’s challenge… and if you missed mine over the weekend.. you can read it by heading over.

It’s a taste sensation and a vibrant color — key lime pie. Composed of a graham cracker crust and creamy filling, key lime pie brightens any meal. Small citrus from groves in Florida, key limes are a regional fruit grown in the Florida Keys. Citrus lovers (and those who make key lime pies) claim they are the sweetest of the limes. While it’s not familiar internationally, it is a color you can almost taste it.

Writers took to the prompt brightly going where pies lead.

The following stories are based on the December 5, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes a key lime pie.

PART I (10-minute read)

Key Lime Pie.0 by christopher lee falcone

In the Beginning, the Earth was without crust or filling.
Then God said: “Let there be Pie.”
And there was Pie.
And the Lord said: “Let there be a division of Pies, between Cream Pies and Pies of Fruit; between Meat Pies, and Pies of Cheese.”
And there became many Pies. And He saw that the Pies were good.
Then, the Devil approached the Throne of Heaven, saying: “Lord, why do you trouble over Pies? For what good is it?”
To where the Lord pitched a key lime pie into the Devil’s eye, saying: “That!”
And the Heavens laughed.


Tropical Revolution by Faith A. Colburn

Key lime pie tastes of freedom in tropical paradise.

The lime, a citrus hybrid, grows in places like the Florid Keys and the islands of the Caribbean, reminding me of Ernest Hemingway, tucked away in the Keys, writing of the Spanish Civil War, Fidel and Raul Castro, and Che Guevara overthrowing the Batista regime in Cuba. Farther back in time—probably before agronomists developed key limes—the blacks in Haiti rose up in a slave rebellion that freed Haiti from French colonial rule and abolished slavery there.

Do you suppose any of those revolutionaries celebrated with key lime pie?


Head over to enjoy 36 fabulous flash fiction stories about Key Lime Pie: Carrot Ranch Key Lime pie with Charli Mills

A little about Charli Mills and find out more at Carrot Ranch

Good to meet you! I’m Charli Mills. From riding horses to writing stories, I’m a born buckaroo wrangling words. I once won a trophy for goat-tying and later, one for story-telling.

With over two decades in freelancing, publications, sales, marketing, editing and speaking, my writing is published in magazines, anthologies and online. I use my worldly experience to consult with organizations, schools, entrepreneurs, writers, and independent authors in the art and business of story-telling.

My byline has appeared in Montana Outdoors, Colours Literary Magazine, Edible Twin Cities and online at USA Today. I used to write wellness columns, and foodie features about turmeric and cheese-makers. I published over 200 print articles and managed the award-winning Living Naturally for 16 years.

The next post is from Angie Quantrell who reviews a lovely children’s books that would delight the younger members of the family.  Winter Cats by Janet Lawlor, illustrated by Ela Smietanka and published by Albert Whitman & Company, 2019


I won a copy of Winter Cats by Janet Lawler from Writing and Illustrating, a blog by Kathy Temean, Janet Lawler, and Albert Whitman & Company. Thank you! I adore cats (and have one who believes she is queen of both indoor and outdoor realms).

There are so many new and wonderful books being released. I enjoy reading about them on a variety of blogs. Sometimes the blogs have giveaways. If one takes the time to read and comment about the new books, authors, or illustrators, your name is put into a hat. On good days, your name is pulled out. And TA-DA, a shiny new book appears in your mailbox! I love shiny new books in my mailbox.

I encourage you to support authors and illustrators by learning about their work and searching for their books at bookstores and libraries, two of my most favorite places to visit

Head over to find out what Angie thought of Winter Cats: Winter Cats reviewed by Angie Quantrell

2016 BW AQ Headshot

A little bit about Angie and you can find more about her About Angie

Hello, friends. I’m so glad you dropped by. Thanks for joining my adventure, one in which I’m led by the Lord, encouraged by His strength, and driven by His purpose – down the path called Writing.

The road is not new. This girl has been writing for as long as she can remember, and that is saying something, since she has passed the half century mark and is quickly sailing on towards the next decade. I spent my early elementary recess times in the library, helping shelve books in hopes of finding new favorites. At that time, all that mattered was horses, so my check-out list leaned heavy towards The Black Stallion (Farley), The Horse and His Boy (Lewis), and any other author who wrote about equines. At the same time I was voraciously reading all I could get my hands on, I started writing stories. The written word is strong in my family.

Kevin is my love, best friend, and life partner of over 30 years. I’ve had him longer than his parents. Whenever we argue and I try to give him back, his mom says “No, you’ve had him longer. He’s all yours!”

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to enjoy these posts in full…thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – Comedian in Residence D.G. Kaye and a joke from Sally’s Archives

First Debby Gies shares some of the funnies that she has spotted that she thinks you would enjoy…..D.G. Kaye Writer Blog is where you will find an archive full of wonderful posts across several subjects including writing tips, social issues and book reviews.

We have had the Thanksgiving Turkey jokes…now it is time for the Christmas Turkey jokes…as well as some other funny bits and pieces…..

My thanks to Debby for spotting these.. and please give her a round of applause.

D. G. Kaye – Buy: Amazon USBlog: D.G. Writes Goodreads: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads

Catch up with Debby’s Travel Column here every month: The Travel Column with D.G. Kaye

Now time for a joke from my archives…. and please drink responsibly!!!

Besht Cishmash Reshippy.

  • 1 Cup butter
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 Cup dried fruit
  • 1 Teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 Teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 Cup brown sugar
  • 1 Cup nuts
  • 1 or 2 quarts of aged whisky

Before you begin, sample the whisky to check for quality. Good isn’t it?

Select a large mixing bowl and a measuring cup. Check the whisky again as it must be just right. To be absolutely sure, pour a large glass and drink as fast as you can.


With an electric mixer, beat 1 cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of sugar and beat the hell out of it again. Meanwhile at this parsnicular point in time, wake sure that the whixy hasn’t gone bad while you weren’t looking. Open second quart if nestessazy.

Add 2 large leggs, 2 cups of fried druit and beat until high, If druit gest shtuck in peaters, just pry the monsters loosh with a drewscriver.

Example the whiksty again, shecking confistancy, then shitf 2 cups of salt or destergent or whatever, like anyone gifts a shplit.

Chample the whitchey shum more.

Shitfin shum lemon zhoosh. Fold in chopped sputter and shrained nusts. Add 100 babblspoons of brown booger or whushever’s closhest and mix well. Greash ubben and turn the caky tin to 350 decrees. Now pour the whole mesh into the washing machine and set on sinch shycle.

Cheque dat whixney wunsh more and pash out.

Do not try this at home…..thanks for dropping in and hope you are leaving with a smile on your face.. thanks Debby and Sally.


Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Christmas – Colleen Chesebro’s Tuesday Tanka Challenge – #Butterfly Cinquain – Permission is Granted by Sally Cronin

This week the prompt words are ‘Give and Shake’ for Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 157 And I have chosen the synonyms ‘Grant and Tremble’ in a Butterfly Cinquain.

I Grant you Permission by Sally Cronin

I grant
you permission
to abandon restraint
and tremble with ecstatic bursts
of joy.
It is the time of chocolate
and freedom to consume
as many bars
you wish.

©Sally Cronin 2019

If you would like to participate in this lovely weekly challenge then please head over to Colleen’s for all the details: Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 157

My thanks to Colleen for kindly including my latest release this week in her new poetry bookstore Tanka Poetry bookstore

Amazon £3.50:Amazon UK

And $4.53: Amazon US

Thank you for dropping in today and as always your feedback is very welcome..Sally.